The Rector of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ernesto Martínez Ataz
The Rector of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ernesto Martínez Ataz, encourages winemakers to take advantage of the opportunities that the Trade Fair and the UCLM at the fair itself have to offer
"This trade fair saw the light with the ambition of turning into a very profitable reality for the world of wine". Ernesto Martínez Ataz, Rector of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, made it quite clear in an interview held with the organization, indicating that he is convinced of the smooth running of the National Trade Fair on Wine, FENAVIN, which is set to open its doors on the upcoming 10th of May in Ciudad Real and that during three full days is to become a huge metaphoric pot in which ingredients such as the culture of wine, wine research and, even more so, the generation of business opportunities will give rise to tremendous wealth for the sector, as has already been happening since the year 2001, instance that is acknowledged by all players that are involved.
In Ataz's opinion, the fact that the Trade Fair is working this well has not come about by chance, "as one really has to bring about the good ideas and dedicate an important part of common sense and work to them so that they will stabilize, something that in this case has clearly been done", he points out. In his opinion, "it is precisely in the land of wine per amount and quality that the standard of reference of the wine trade fair in Spain has been established. And the information we have available - he continues - indicates that the wineries want to be present, reason why we consider that it is a national sounding board and that anyone who wants to be of significance in the wine sector should visit the trade fair at some point".
Although the University of Castilla-La Mancha has always shown interest in being involved in the trade fair, this from its very beginnings, it was not until FENAVIN 2009 that collaboration with the university started to take shape by way of an agreement in which the University decided to put the latest advances in scientific and technological research at the disposal of the winemakers and professionals, as well as the range of management, marketing and commercialization, while in turn also transmitting live all events taking place at the trade fair by way of the Internet. with said agreement once again being repeated this year.
"Knowledge of the research carried out by the UCLM can help the wineries to be more competitive"
In Martínez-Ataz's opinion, it would certainly be a pity if the professionals of the sector do not take advantage of the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the latest advances in the mentioned fields. "As everything - he points out -, what is important is to know what others are doing, as less time has to be invested. The fact that the winemakers know what researchers are doing in the world of wine, with lines that directly or indirectly coincide with their concerns, may give rise to results that undertake a specific problem from a scientific point of view, in such a way that it will truly help them to improve their products or services, which in turn translates into the company becoming more competitive".
As commented by the Rector, there may even be the circumstance that "the companies themselves are leading the initiative, that is, transmitting their concerns to the researchers in these areas, this to cover their bases in case they can help them with their specific problem". Martínez Ataz assures that "this can be done in a more formal or even informal conversation, and it only takes a few minutes and if both parts are not on the same wavelength, well the only thing that is lost is a bit of time; but if it actually works -he adds -, then a very useful project for both parts will arise and that is the exact idea, to open up new ways of collaboration for the present and future", he concludes.
On the other hand, this year it happens that there are currently many training programs involving wine in Castilla-La Mancha, the same in the shape of Masters Degrees promoted by the entities that collaborate with FENAVIN: one pertaining to the "Fundación Horizonte XXII", of the Caja Rural and the other to the "Fundación la Tierra de Viñedos", with the UCLM being directly involved in the first of the two.
"Training in the sector to create added value that will stay right here is absolutely fundamental, reason why we are highly involved in the Masters Degree of the Caja Rural Foundation, as those of us who are in possession of the scientific-technological content are being entrusted with the training, because we already share matters involving commercialization with other lecturers of this Masters Degree, degree that enjoys important financing and that is very good, a standard of reference in fact".
Apart from this direct collaboration, during the last few years the University has also been involved in vinicultural training. "We have been imparting a Masters Degree in Management and Commercialization during the year 2009, with far more modest financing and which we have also taken to different provinces. Lately the course has even been offered on-line, although this degree is aimed at commercialization, despite including some enology and viticulture. For now it has completed its first phase, as it has already been around for ten years and we will quite probably restart it, although these sort of things have to be updated and the demand must be renovated, otherwise it becomes saturated".